Classroom planning tips

Tips to encourage classroom dialogue

Planning tips to encourage classroom dialogue:

  • Make explicit the ground rules that govern talk in the classroom by teaching students about the purpose of their talk with you and their classmates.
  • Analyse the talk that has gone on, asking students to evaluate its quality and impact.
  • Establish a talk focus and a ‘thinking’ atmosphere, valuing contributions, and asking questions to which you really do not know the answer.
  • Have a discussion with students about their role as listeners.
  • Ask confident students to talk about their perspectives of classroom talk. Compare these with the views of quieter learners.
  • Have a ‘dialogue star’. Choose a student who is expected to make the initial contribution and change every week so each learner eventually takes this role.
  • Use talk partners and groups so that questions and ideas can be shared with someone, if not with everyone.

Talk about talk

A first step towards more dialogic teaching

Ground rules

Establish ground rules of communication 

Talking points

Thought provoking statements to support rich discussions

Steps in developing a dialogic ethos

A guide to developing a classroom ethos that promotes dialogue

Promoting dialogic interactions

Requirements and activities for effective group work

Introductory video series

Collections of videos regarding educational dialogue